For some today is just another day off from work – but for me today has a deeper meaning.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of my Daddy teaching me to place my hand over my heart while the national anthem was played. I can remember mimicing his movements and looking up at him while the trumpet sounded its notes, and I saw tears in his eyes. Years later, I would come to understand why those tears glistened in his eyes. My father is a Vietnam Veterna, and while he served as Military policeman and was therefore spared much of the horror of Vietnam – he is still haunted by his service. Those tears, I believe, are for the loss of his innocence, the loss of cherished friends, and for the grief our country felt during that time. But those tears are also for the other men and women who have given their service to our country – both in times of war and times of peace.
Today is a day set aside to honor those men and women. Men and women who willingly offer themselves as servants to a nation. Men and women who leave their homes, their friends, their families and willingly place themselves in harm’s way — not for the paycheck, not for the glory, but simply because they wish to protect the freedom that has made this country great.
Elmer Davis was quoted as saying “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave”.
I thank God that America still has brave men and women who are willing to serve.
So to my father, my friend Kevin, to my youth group memeber Cedric, and to all service members past and present — THANK YOU! My life is blessed because of your willingness to serve.